Saturday, June 21, 2008

Apple Mac - A Great Way To Get To The Wrong Answer

Scott McNealy was wrong. It isn't Linux that's a great way to get to the wrong answer. It's the Mac. But try telling it to the crowds thronging the new Apple retail outfit on Sydney's George Street at its opening.

No one argues with the design excellence and "insanely great" user experience afforded by the Mac. But that only justifies the adjective "great". It's still the wrong answer.

Please explain? Gladly.

Can someone explain to me why we should abandon a closed operating system on open hardware (Wintel) to go to a closed operating system on closed hardware (the Mac)? I would think the right direction is towards an open operating system on open hardware (Lintel). [Aside: Of course, the hardware side of the Lintel platform is "open" thanks only to the presence of AMD. One shudders to think of an untrammeled Intel monopoly.]

Folks, here's the right way to get to the right answer - Ubuntu Linux. With just one important missing feature (slated to be remedied in the next version), it is poised to be the best desktop operating system, bar none.

Don't agree? Watch this space.


David said...

I have to say I agree with you Ganesh. I really like Apple's approach to usability and think that we can learn a great deal from them. Their engineering too is nothing short of superb, however I am also not without my misgivings.

IMO people will only think Apple and Steve Jobs are fabulous right up until the point that it becomes apparent to them that he's more of a profiteer and a tyrant than Bill ever was. Given that the love affair is only relatively new, people haven't yet had the chance to get a sour taste in their mouth. Apple's vertically integrated business model is more akin to the industrialists of old where everything was controlled from top to bottom (He's like the Henry Ford of the Information Age). Inevitably I believe that people will be in for a rude shock once they realise that once they're on the Apple merry-go-round that it is much harder to break out of than M$ ever was.

I'm all for open systems on open hardware. I've been tracking the development of Ubuntu Linux since Dapper and have been desperate to break out of my Vista of hell. The only thing that has stopped me in truth is Ubuntu's poor driver support for laptops (it once tried to cook my CPU due to a faulty ACPI implementation!) I'm very pleased with the recent release of Hardy Heron though and haven't had any issues whatsoever. I can honestly say that Linux is here to stay for me.

geoff said...

I believe it is the right answer for folks who are not IT trained. You turn it on and it just works. That is what some people want from a desktop, not having to play with Task Manager or the register. They want a desktop that allows them to create a work environment without worrying about the technology bits.

andrejk said...

I'm sorry to have to say this, but linux is missing more than just one feature. I'm a big linux user, my software development laptop is running ubuntu, but for home usage i've bought an imac. I need a pc for hd-video editing, and there just isn't a working solution on linux.

Amitabh said...

The only people I hear complain about macs are the ones that don't use it. Macs are the best of both worlds - based on unix but really easy to use. I used several versions of linux for a year but really didn't find the ease of use that I get with the mac.